2020 Village Halls Week


The next Village Halls Week will run from Monday 20 January – Sunday 26 January 2020

Share your History

Thursday 23 January 2020 will see halls celebrating ‘#throwbackthursday, an online trend that looks into the past. To share your halls’ history, simply use your social media account (Twitter or Facebook) and use the hashtags #tbt and #villagehallsweek. You could put up old pictures, old flyers, remember significant guests, share an old film or write an article on your halls’ history.

National Open Day

Saturday 25 January 2020. This year we are asking halls across England to hold an open day. This is a great opportunity to get new trustees, new user groups, enhance your community engagement or even get a visit from your local MP!

Funding News July 2019

News courtesy of Wokingham & Bracknell Involve, Slough CVS, Reading Voluntary Action & West Berkshire Voluntary Centre

Co-op Foundation – Space to Connect

Grants are available to help community organisations identify, improve and protect community spaces in England where people can connect and co-operate. Please click here.

More than a Pub Programme

This aims to increase the number of community-owned pubs open and trading and also to grow the range of services they offer to help the wider community. Applications will open in summer 2019. Visit powertochange .org.uk/get-support/programmes/community-
/ for more details

Grants for the Conservation of Wildlife & the Environment

Monthly grants are made to support the conservation of wildlife and the environment by the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust. The Trust makes grants of between £250 and £1,000 (sometimes up to £5,000).
Apply any time

Funding for Charities to Develop an Effective Web Presence

The Transform Foundation provides grants for charities and not for profit organisations operating for the public good to develop an effective social media and web presence with the aim of developing future funding streams. The Website Grant Programme provides a funding package of up to £18,000 to cover the upfront costs of a new charity-specific website including strategy, design, development and training. See www.transformfoundation.org.uk/website-grants
for more information.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Funding from Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF)

Schools, Parish Councils and other community based organisations in rural England wanting to develop renewable energy projects to provide economic and social benefits to their communities, and make money by selling it back to the grid, can apply for funding through the £10 RCEF. A feasibility grant of up to approximately £40,000 for an initial investigation into the feasibility of a renewable energy project.. Viable proposal will also be able to apply for further grants of up to £100,000. More information https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rural-sports-clubs-schools-and-churches-to-go-green-thanks-to-10-million-clean-energy-fund or contact the South East hub info@energyhub.org.uk

Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund

The Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund exists to increase opportunities for young people in disadvantaged areas of the UK to play outdoor sport.

The fund is available to local community groups, sports clubs and charities.

Grants will typically be in the range from £2.5k – £5k although a larger grant may be possible in some circumstances.

Applications can be made for grants towards some or all of the following types of projects with the intention of growing capacity to reach more young people:
• The development and improvement of playing fields and other facilities
• The development and training of volunteers including the provision of qualifications
• The purchase of specialist disability equipment
• The development of long-term sustainability, for example marketing and finance expertise
Where it can be demonstrated that a grant will help unlock additional funding from other funders, this is encouraged.
Find out more about Angus Irvine Playing Fields Fund

Places to Ride

The £15million programme will fund development of new or existing cycling facilities in communities across England.

It is open to any organisation that is developing cycling activity in their community, and wants to fund small-medium scale facility improvements or equipment through to large-scale new build facilities across all types of cycling.

Applications can be submitted at any time and decisions will be made every 12 weeks.

Find out more about Places to Ride

Hospital Saturday Fund

Registered health charities, hospices and medical organisations in the UK and Republic of Ireland can apply for one -off grants of up to £10,000 for medical projects, care, research, running costs or to support medical training.

There are 2 grant programmes:

• Standard Grants of £2,000 or €3,000. The next deadline is 5th July 2019, followed by 7th October 2019
• Larger Grants of up to a maximum of £10,000 or €13,500 for specific projects, research or equipment (not running costs). The next deadline is 9th September 2019.

Find out more about the Hospital Saturday Fund

Greggs Local Community Projects Fund

Awards grants of up to £2,000 to enable not for profit organisations to do something they otherwise couldnt afford to.

Who can apply?
This award is open to Not for Profit organisations who have an income of less than £300,000. Applicants should normally have a Greggs shop in their region. Find your nearest Greggs. Use shop finder https://www.greggs.co.uk/.

What kind of project is supported?
Greggs are interested in projects with new approaches and innovative ideas as well as sustainable approaches to supporting the their community. Projects must support people who are:
• Disabled or suffering chronic illness
• Living in poverty
• Voluntary carers
• Homeless people
• Isolated older people
• Other demonstrable significant need
Greggs do not fund running costs or continuation of existing and ongoing work.

Deadline and next steps: Apply on-line by 30th September

Decisions being announced on 25th November

AHF Transforming Places Through Heritage Programme – Crowdfunding Development Grants

Grants are available for charities and social enterprises in England to match funds raised through crowdfunding campaigns that support restoration projects for redundant or underused, community-owned historic buildings in town centres. For further information please click here.

Grants for Small Charitable & Community Organisations

Grants from £100 to £5,000 are available to small community organisations for local projects from the CAF Tourle Foundation Fund

Who Can Apply?
If you are a small place based charitable organisations providing a service to the heart of their community, then this could be for you.

Organisations applying must:
• be applying for up to £5,000
• be providing a service to the heart of your community
• be a community charitable organisation whose reach is within a localised catchment area
• be able to demonstrate the need of the project
• have an annual income below £100,000
• have charitable aims and objectives
• operate within the UK
• complete the project a year from the date of award.

What Kind of Projects are Funded?
Project areas that are considered may include:
• Projects with a community led ethos – this may be born from a community challenge or idea and run by members of the local community
• Organisations that find it difficult to attract mainstream funding
• Projects demonstrating the organisation is providing something which would not otherwise be available locally
• Projects demonstrating the organisation is doing great work that they are not recognised for.

Examples could include:

  • A charitable organisation set up by the community in a village, providing services to older people in isolation; or
  • A small community group on an estate providing drop in sessions for teenagers etc

How to Apply
The deadline for applications is 31 July 2019.

To apply, first read The CAF Tourle Foundation Fund Guidance Document.

Co-op Foundation Space to Connect Grants – open until 31 July 2019

Space to Connect is a partnership between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DMCS) and the Co-op Foundation. It builds on the commitment to unlock the potential of community spaces as part of the Government’s loneliness strategy.

Grants are available to help community organisations identify, improve and protect community spaces in England where people can connect and cooperate. Work should be completed between October 2019 and March 2020. There are two strands of funding.


Grants for organisations that are already using a community space in an innovative and creative way, and that want to expand activities and embed sustainable ways of working to build a more secure future. The funding amount for Enhance grants is between £30,000 and £50,000 for revenue and capital funding. They expect to make 8 to 12 grants across the country.


Grants for organisations that want to start exploring ways that local challenges could be addressed through better use of space, and/or identify potential spaces that could be opened up to community use. The funding amount for Explore grants is up to £10,000. This is for revenue funding only (not capital costs).

Eligibility criteria

Applications will be considered from UK-based charities, social enterprises and other voluntary and community organisations that do not mainly aim to generate profits for private distribution. To be eligible, organisations must:

  • have a constitution;
  • have a UK bank account in the organisation’s name;
  • have at least two unconnected people on the board or management committee;
  • already use or run a community space.

Applications are welcome from organisations working in partnership, including projects joining up with public and/or private sector organisations, provided they are led by a voluntary, community or social enterprise organisation.

Community Land Trust – Cohesive Communities Fund

Grants and technical support are available to unlock the skills and capacity within the Community Land Trust movement. For further information.


Neighbourhood Planning Grants and Support Programme 2018-2022
Grants and technical support are available for town and parish councils, neighbourhood forums and prospective neighbourhood forums to draw up a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order in England. For further information.

Thrive Renewables Community Benefit Fund

Grants are available for energy efficient improvements to community buildings in the immediate vicinity of a renewable energy project in which Thrive Renewables is invested in England or Scotland. To find out more please click here.

Free Training Courses available in Berkshire

Information courtesy of Involve Wokingham

Gang Awareness Training

2nd & 3rd October 2019, 9.30am – 4.30pm at Council Chambers, Shute End, Wokingham

Direct course link: wokingham.learningpool.com/course/view.php?id=1135
The event is FREE to attend. However late cancellations and non-attendance may be charged.
Delegates will receive an update on general awareness and be advised on specialist knowledge relating to personal experience. This training has a focus on practical elements of supporting young people who are; vulnerable, at risk, caught up in gangs and criminal exploitation. We endeavour to offer something that goes beyond the normal awareness, stretching the hearts and minds of those on the frontline.

Free Courses In England Has Access to a Range of Fully Funded Courses

These courses could offer huge advantages to your organisation – they are cost-effective, help you support talented employees who want to learn and progress, and they are an effective way to support your skills requirements. We want to support you in focusing on the retraining or up-skilling of your staff, which will provide them with motivation, job satisfaction and bring new skills to your organisation.

The courses can be delivered online and therefore do not require staff to be off-site whilst studying them. They are fully accredited by NCFE and successful completers will be awarded a formal qualification. There is a range of courses to choose from including business admin, data protection, a variety of digital marketing workshops and a host of health and social care courses to name a few. View their full list of free courses here

Government Won’t Force Banks to Keep Rural Branches Open

By Rural Services Network

The Financial Times reports that the Government has refused to intervene to protect banking services in rural areas, despite recommendations from the Treasury Committee.

In May, the Committee called for the financial regulator and the Government to force banks to maintain a physical network for customers who do not use digital services. But the Government said that ‘it would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in the commercial decisions of banks’.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Committee, has described the response as ‘disappointing’. However, Pauline van der Meer Mohr, a member of the HSBC board, acknowledged that ‘we need to step beyond the considerations of pure competitive issues and think more innovatively about financial inclusion’.

6 UK cities receive 5G but how many of us are living with a digital deficit?

by Felicity Humphrey, Action with Communities in Rural England

Affordable, regular transport and a Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s on every corner. When you live in London or Edinburgh you won’t find yourself travelling miles just to see your GP.
You also don’t have the agony of not being able to make or receive a phone call.

Not having signal – seems like a bit of a 1st world issue doesn’t it?

There are bigger things to worry about.

But what if you couldn’t access universal credit, because it’s completely online and you couldn’t get connected purely because of where you lived… Wouldn’t that start to feel … Unequal? And would that be a silly 1st world issue – not being able to get the money you need to put food on the table?

It is the Government’s ambition for the country to be a world leader in 5G, but how many of us are really living with a digital deficit?

In February this year, Rural England published the State of Rural Services 2018 report. The report found that more than half (58%) of rural homes could not access 4G compared with just 17% in cities; cities that will now receive 5G. Not being able to have access to mobile connectivity in a world that is being built on technology including fundamentals like healthcare, banking and education is catastrophic for those living in unconnected areas.

As fast as digital connectivity moves forward, and society’s dependence on it deepens, the divide in access to the benefits between rural and urban areas becomes greater.

National rural charity ACRE (Action for Communities in Rural England) presented evidence to the Rural Broadband and digital only services inquiry held by the EFRA Committee on Wednesday 12 June.

Jeremy Leggett, ACREs Policy Adviser said “The divide between urban and rural has the potential to get much worse and the government’s intervention seems to have lacked effectiveness. Indeed, as fast as digital connectivity moves forward, and society’s dependence on it deepens, the divide in access to the benefits between rural and urban areas becomes greater.”

The fundamental barrier for rural areas is not technological, but rather economic and political.

ACRE added. “Up to now, the UK Government has sought to use public money to accelerate roll-out to rural areas, a plan that has not proved successful. If here is to be an equality of service throughout the UK, government needs to use its regulatory powers to ensure an equity of provision for all.”